In-depth reviews

BMW 5 Series review - Reliability and safety

Cutting edge safety kit is available on all models, while tried and tested mechanicals should prove reliable

The 5 Series ranked 49th out of a 75-car list in our 2021 Driver Power survey, while BMW itself came 21st out of 29 manufacturers - still a disappointing result, but up from 27th place in 2020.

Both the four- and six-cylinder diesels featured in various forms in the old model, while the four-cylinder turbocharged petrol units debuted in the smaller 3 Series. Also familiar to other BMW owners will be the eight-speed automatic gearbox. 

Even though the structure, interior and infotainment of the 5 Series are all new, the mechanicals have been thoroughly developed over the last decade or so. EuroNCAP awarded the executive saloon a full five-star rating in 2017, with impressive marks for both adult and child occupant safety.

Like all BMW models, the 5 Series has been engineered to be entertaining and engaging to drive. However, the car’s agile handling is backed up by a suite of safety systems, including stability control, autonomous emergency braking and adaptive LED brake lights that flash during an emergency stop. All versions also get powerful LED headlamps and six airbags.

Also included as standard is BMW’s ConnectedDrive Services, which can alert emergency services in the event of an accident.

If you want even more peace of mind, then you can add lane departure warning, rear cross traffic alert and traffic sign recognition, although these can only be had in the Technology Plus Pack which, at £4,995, is off-putting.

Warranty

As with all BMW models, the 5 Series is backed by a three-year and unlimited mileage warranty. This guarantee also comes with breakdown recovery for the same period.

The 530e and 545e are covered under the same terms, apart from its battery pack that comes with a separate six-year warranty – although this has a mileage limit of 100,000.

Paintwork on the car is guaranteed for three years, while any corrosion issues will be covered for 12 years.

Servicing

BMW was one of the pioneers of the pre-paid servicing package, so it’s no surprise to find the 5 Series is available with a similar scheme.

A pay-monthly servicing plan of £25 per month over three years includes two services, plus fluid top ups, an MOT and sat-nav map updates, among other things.

Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    520i MHT SE 4dr Step Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £39,010

Most Economical

  • Name
    530e SE 4dr Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £48,965

Fastest

  • Name
    M550i xDrive 4dr Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £70,000

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